Movies opening today, SA!

Six new films open in South Africa today, and my Top 2 picks for the weekend are both horror flicks.

First up is smash hit horror-comedy Zombieland. I've blogged about Zombieland before but in short it seems appropriate to think of it as America's answer to Britain's Shaun of the Dead - a distinctly comic take on fighting hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin, the film centres on a group of mismatched survivors in a world overrun by zombies. Harrelson apparently turns in a stellar comedic performance as a Twinkie-obsessed, rifle-packing cowboy called Tallahassee - reminding cinema goers for the first time in ages how strong he can be in an offbeat comedy.

Out of interest, Zombieland is the most financially successful zombie movie of all time, overtaking the box office takings of Zack Synder's Dawn of the Dead remake. Although nowhere near as witty as Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland is still apparently a lot of bloody fun. It's rated a very impressive 89% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


Sorority Row is a remake of a "classic" 1983 slasher about a group of college girls involved in a prank that goes horribly, and murderously, wrong. Cue I Know What You Did Last Summer, with the young women (all saucily clad if the production stills are to be believed!) attempting to cover up the incident, hide the evidence and just generally forget about their actions. Thing is, some months later, a hooded killer starts exacting bloody vengeance, slaughtering the sorority girls in increasingly creative ways.

Starring a bunch of pretty young things, including Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman and Audrina Patridge, Sorority Row also has Carrie Fisher playing a no-nonsense house mother. Rock on Princess Leia! Still though, I don't imagine the film attempts to add anything new to the usual slasher formula, even if it is very slickly done. Sorority Row is just 23% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. For the record though that's not an unusual score for a horror film and I'll admit I'm always a sucker for this gratuitous sub-genre.


Also opening this weekend in more limited release are:

Che: Part 1 - The first half of director Steven Soderbergh's epic 4-hour biopic of everyone's favourite Argentinian commie revolutionary on a T-shirt, Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro apparently gives an amazing performance as the title character, but was denied a nomination at this year's Oscars. Spanish and English language, and 72% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Stoning of Soraya M. - Harrowing art circuit drama based on the book of the same name by Freidoune Sahebjam, which is in turn based on a true story. In English and Persian, the film examines the cruelty and injustice of Sharia Law when it's used by a man in a remote Iranian village to rid himself of a wife he no longer wants. 54% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Kurbaan - Bollywood thriller-love story with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The 2 stars play academics who meet while lecturing at a Delhi university, marry and move to the United States. Their bliss is soon shattered, however, when they become embroiled in a deadly terrorist plot and love morphs into suspicion.

Waltz With Bashir - Highly acclaimed animated documentary from Israel, dealing with writer-director Ari Folman's repressed memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. Winner of the Best Foreign Language film at this year's Golden Globe Awards, the film has also won dozens of other accolades whether it's been nominated in documentary, animation or foreign language categories. 96% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. This is the hard-to-find movie to catch at local cinemas this weekend.

Comments

Emm said…
I noticed when I lived in SA that we often got films before UK or USA (depending on where they were released). It is weird then that Che and Waltz With Bashir are only being released this weekend because they both came out here in the UK last year and I already have them on DVD! I guess maybe they aren't really of interest to the South African market.

Isn't New Moon out there this weekend?
Pfangirl said…
Hey Emm, you're right about noticing how weird the local release schedule is. It seems to vary quite dramatically over the course of the year, but mostly it seems like we have a wait the longest in SA for "art films" - sometimes well over a year. I think you're right about the reason for this: there just isn't much interest locally.

As for New Moon, technically it starts here this Friday but it had a massive midnight screening on Friday (20 Nov) and has been showing at a lot of cinemas, at least once a day, since then. Very strange arrangement.

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